There’s a good chance that you already know that fingerprints are one way to identify people. You will often find that fingerprints are used to help place suspects at crime scenes and they can also be used to identify victims of crimes in various cases. Do you truly understand why fingerprints are able to do this, though? Read on to get more information about the uniqueness of fingerprints. 

What Exactly Are Fingerprints?

When you get into the logistics of what fingerprints actually are, you’ll find that they are little ridges that exist on the tips of your fingers. You could technically say that they are folds of your epidermis. Fingerprints are patterns of skin oils that will leave themselves behind when you touch something. The ridges on your fingerprints will leave behind a unique pattern whenever you touch something well enough to leave behind a good print. 

Interestingly, fingerprints start to form even before you are born into this world. A fetus will form fingerprints about halfway through a pregnancy due to the basal layer of skin growing faster than the layers of skin above it. It’s interesting to note that your fingerprints will be determined by genetic information from your parents, too. Both the size and shape of your fingerprints will be determined by genetic factors and it’s likely that you share some fingerprint similarities with your parents or siblings. 

Fingerprints Are Unique 

Fingerprints are still unique even if you have siblings because of various factors. For example, your fingerprints will be influenced by factors such as the size of your blood vessels, how fast skin layers are growing, and even factors involving the chemical environment of the womb. Even identical twins are not going to have identical fingerprints. This means that fingerprints are a true identifying factor that makes you completely unique. 

Knowing this information, it becomes easier to see why fingerprints are so important in crime scene investigations. Getting a fingerprint is certainly something that can tie someone to being in a location. This information is used by forensic teams to paint a picture of what happened at a crime scene. Fingerprints have proven useful in many ways in so many different investigations.